A Profile of Toyota’s Production System

by: Scott Moore

Publication Date: January 28, 2010
Length: 8 pages
Product ID#: 1-429-018

Core Disciplines: Operations Management/Supply Chain, Strategy & Management

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Teaching Note

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What is the Toyota Production System, lean manufacturing, and Kaizen? Discussion of this profile leads the student through the process of understanding Toyota and its justifiably famous production system. The goal is for students to understand how pervasive the production system and its tenets were to Toyota’s operations. The profile describes the benefits that the system provided Toyota, the challenges the company and the system faced in the first few years of the 21st century, and the ensuing effects on Toyota’s position in the marketplace. 

Teaching Objectives

After reading and discussing the material, students should:

  • Examine how process innovation can be a source of competitive advantage.
  • Explain how the kanban and kaizen system function within Toyota’s production system.
  • Understand the complexity of a production system.